"EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION" HELPS THE WATSON FAMILY
CONTINUE TO HELP OTHERS IN KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE
Jenny McCarthy Guest Stars on Design Team in Special To Air in 2012-13 Season on ABC
Earlier today, January 10, "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" surprised the Watson family with the door knock that changes lives. This episode will air as a special during the 2012-13 Season on the ABC Television Network. In the episode, actress, author, activist and entrepreneur Jenny McCarthy will guest star on the design team.
Daniel and Mandy Watson are not only the proud adoptive parents of three adorable, fun-loving kids with boundless energy, they're also inspiring examples of how people can make a difference in the lives of so many others. Having both been raised by single mothers, the Watsons work tirelessly to transform the lives of low-income, single mother families through housing and providing the tools to succeed in life... all while their own home falls apart around them. Five years ago, they left their jobs and created The Restoration House of East Tennessee, a non-profit organization that provides single mothers with housing at a local apartment complex, as well as the tools needed (mentoring, advocacy) to be confident, self-sufficient and productive members of their community. This passionate young couple fight hard for their dream of 'restoring' the lives of single mothers and their children in Knoxville, Tennessee, where over 5,000 single mother families live below the poverty line. Their mantra, "It Takes a Village," has helped many single mothers and their children transition to living successful lives both financially and personally. They are currently helping 5 single mothers and 11 children. But their home is in such bad shape that it threatens to take them away from their non-profit and imperils their dreams of expanding the program to help even more single moms.
The Watsons decided to forgo having biological children and adopted Atley (7) and Ava (6) as newborns from single mothers in the Knoxville area, and baby Silas (2) from Ethiopia. Both Ava and Silas were at-risk adoptions--Silas was found abandoned laying in the bushes suffering from neonatal tetanus and on the verge of death; he was handed over to authorities at only 10 days old. Now all three children are healthy and playful, full of joy and mischief. Daniel works tirelessly at the Restoration House as Executive Director, but also works a second job at night as a web developer to pay the bills. Even though Mandy is now staying at home to take care of Silas, she spends countless hours helping the mothers in the program.
Sadly, as the Watsons work to transform lives and help get women shelter, their own home is literally falling down around them. The foundation is crumbling, leaving warped floors, cracking walls and falling ceilings. The family room is sinking into the ground due to the poor foundation. The house contains little insulation and has several holes leading outside from the cellar and bedrooms. With Silas' medical bills and adoption costs, Daniel and Mandy haven't been able to replace the roof and instead have rigged a tarp over half the house. These problems imperil the dream Daniel and Mandy had four years ago when they founded their non-profit, as well as their dream of adding a small second home on their property to house additional families temporarily.
The Watson family will be whisked away on a dream vacation to St. Petersburg Clearwater, Florida, while "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" special guest Jenny McCarthy, Ty Pennington and designers Paul DiMeo, Tracy Hutson, John Littlefield and Jillian Harris, along with Grace Construction and community volunteers, help to build the structure.
The build location is 2329 Robinson Road, Knoxville, TN 37923.
"EM:HE" is produced by Endemol USA, of Endemol Holding, and executive-produced by Brady Connell & George Verschoor. David Goldberg is Chairman, Endemol North America.